April 2007

Dear Big Damn Heroes,

The little girl you see in the pictures is my daughter. She is eight years old. She is smart, funny, and in this mother's opinion, beautiful. She is also autistic, diagnosed PDD-NOS at age 3.

After the diagnosis, returning to my job as a local TV producer was off the table, as I needed to be available for her. Our family's income was immediately halved. At the same time, we picked up quite a few extra expenses.

When it comes to my child, I will move mountains to be sure that she has the help she needs. And I'm helping my child with help from the Browncoats, although I've waited a few years to mention it.

The net proceeds from two Jayne hats or four kits are exactly the amount that it costs for one hour of occupational therapy or one half hour of speech therapy for my child. With the help she's getting, my child is doing remarkably well. She's in a mainstream second-grade classroom, with some extra help throughout the day. She'll be rising to third grade this fall. I do not believe this would be possible without the extra private therapies we've thankfully been able to afford.

If it were not for Mr. Baldwin's strong performance, Mr. Whedon's stellar writing, the charm of the original hat and the hard work of everyone involved in making Firefly such an exceptional show, my little girl's life would be very different. Because of Firefly and the love it's inspired in the fans, our lives are immensely richer.

Thank you. Thank you, Adam Baldwin. Thank you, Joss Whedon. Thank you, cast, crew, and support staff. Thank you, fellow fans. Our lives are better because of you.

Heather Hill